The fast-growing fashion brand has reduced its environmental impact by 35% per kilogram of raw material

For Stella McCartney, founder of the eponymous fashion brand, being a responsible business involves managing the company’s supply chain in a way that does the least harm to people, animals and planet.

This touches every part of its business. “It isn’t just organic cotton – it’s organic cotton, plus wind energy, plus not using PVC, plus thousands of other little steps that eventually make a more responsible and environmentally conscious company,” says McCartney herself, who admits that “In many ways we are just beginning our journey towards becoming more sustainable."

The company, which is part of the giant Kering group, has never used leather, skins, feathers or fur in any of its products. This is not just an ethical decision, but an environmental one, McCartney says, citing studies showing that the meat and leather industry is one of the most environmentally damaging in the world.

The toxic chemicals used in leather tanning include chrome, lead, formaldehyde and even cyanide, which are found in groundwater near some tanneries in developing countries.

Since autumn 2013, the company has been using a material called Eco Alter Nappa, made from polyester and polyurethane with a coating made from vegetable...

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fashion  sustainability  luxury goods  Environment  leather  animal welfare  climate 

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